Dibder's New Music Series: Entry 4


Abr 30 2009, 12h53

Sat 11 Apr – Röyksopp

Will be keeping the gig review this month to a bare minimum due to the influx of new music I managed to get hold of, but needless to say, both Röyksopp and Fever Ray in particular were on fine form at London's Royal Festival Hall. At the gig's end, as the loutier of the concert-going patrons were filing out of the seated venue, most could be heard to say, with all of the eloquence of a bulldog licking piss off of a nettle "it's not the best place for a rave, is it?" I was tempted to turn around and say that, given the amount of people standing up and throwing their limbs around during the Röyk's set, it didn't really matter, but quickly remembered there was a short time window before I would have to get the nightbus back to my local pub.

Flashing back to the beginning of the night, I made it to the venue with a little over half-an-hour for drinks before Fever went onstage, to find that I was near enough sitting on the stage itself directly above the sound engineer's desk (thank you, Eileen!) It was a bittersweet victory in work-culled tickets though, as I happened to be the only one to take up the opportunity to see the Norwegian duo and the sister half of The Knife, and as it turns out, I could have brought a few friends along; thankfully, it wasn't nearly as shameful as rocking up to G-A-Y in its heyday on my own for despicably tasteless reasons, but I digress...

For Fever's set, the stage was decked out with a lot of lamps; homey, '70s style domestic lamps to be precise, sort of reminiscent of the video for Weezer's El Scorcho. The atmosphere in the audience was muted for a while, unsure what to expect given this was Karin Dreijer Andersson's first solo appearance in the UK; needless to say, when the lights dimmed down and the unmistakably spooky bass of If I Had a Heart blasted through the speakers, the audience was primed with cheering and whooping. The band single-filed on first, wearing all sorts of unconventional attire, the two closest to me wearing an African tribal mask with a schoolboy outfit (percussion, of course!) and a druid-style smock with an aerodynamically-enhanced headpiece (mixing, de riguer!). But seriously, they had nothing on Karin...

Wearing what can only be described as a giant bubble-headed helmet made of earth and antlers with a floor-level smock sewn into its end, therefore completely enveloping her and limiting her already-timid movement, Karin looked like she was a prototype for a supporting character in the new Where The Wild Things Are film. Armed with two microphones rigged to reach into the headwear (one for regular vocal duties, the other for the thrillingly deharmonized distortions that strike through her eponymous new album), Karin initially had some trouble due to the bass output being so heavy, but by the third song this was fixed and the rest of the gig was just shy of heavenly.

At once illuminated with rich shades of ocean blue and acid greed light (along with the at times synchopated lamps in the background) and shrouded in darkness (where I was sat I could make out a perfect profile silhouette of her), with the odd laser shooting back into the auditorium, it was a gig that couldn't have presented the album into a live venue better, retaining its alien eeriness and homey earthiness perfectly. Karin herself was in fine voice (particularly on penultimate song When I Grow Up), if not the confident show-woman; aside from that huge costume (which she eventually took off after Concrete Walls), her humble entrance (and exit halfway through show closer Coconut) wasn't characterised with any sort of fanfare or grand gesture and audience interaction was non-existent. Work on that confidence, girlie; you're a star!

A quick interval later, and the stage was set up with the Röyk's typical blocking of two near identical soundmakers centre stage, with Torbjørn (the cute one) taking on vocals and keyboards in a foppish top hat and Svein (the cuter one) taking duties on keyboards and drums. Bedecked in all sorts of primary shades of colour courtesy of the audience blinders behind them flooding the stage, the duo started off with a couple of their more customary chilled-out filler tracks before giving the audience exactly what they wanted and their third album, Junior, surely promised; pure, unadulterated party fun!

Lead off single Happy Up Here kicked things off more than pleasurably, and gave Svein the opportunity to wear a giant astronaut helmet to space out the vocals on the track ("You know I really like it..."), followed shortly with the arrival of Anneli Drecker who gorgeously complimented You Don't Have a Clue with her angelic vocals. Then, upon the arrival of the album's most-famous guest Robyn for next single The Girl and the Robot, the audience went apeshit, and in my opinion finally revealed themselves to be 60% full of gay men. The vibes were so good it prompted Tor to thank London every time a song finished and how wonderful it felt to be back in the UK, which would have been annoying if it wasn't so sincere and lovely. Good times...

The gig rarely lost momentum after that, and flew past in a joyous blur, but the final song before the encore left us with one surprise; Fever Ray, back in her antler-sponsored garb literally appeared out of thin air onstage to sing standout track Tricky Tricky, and the feeling to move was so electric, she was even half-dancing! Unfortunately, the boys put a small dampener on the evening by closing their encores with instrumental pieces a little too ornate and pretty to sit well with the party just before, but all in all, it was a very good night, and well worth checking out when they hit the festival circuit later this year.


And on with the monthlies... Hope you're keeping up, and apologies for any typos, as I have little over an hour to put this all in the journal field with tags and stuff, it being payday, which I honestly thought would never fucking come after 35 days! And relax...

The Future Will Come by The Juan Maclean
Solo success has come late in the game for dance music producer John MacLean, who with the help of Nancy Whang on vocal duties releases albums featuring extended electro-house jams under his more declarative pseudonym. This second album of his could easily be described as a throwback to headier times in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, when commercial house music relied predominantly on buoyant piano lines and looped vocals. However, for the very same reason, it could be labelled as being dated and irrelevant, as there’s only so far you can take a groovy-yet-unremarkable dance signature (and it certainly isn’t twelve minutes long, as found on rambling closer Happy House). I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, but others might not be so acclimatising...

Back To Now by Labelle
A rather weirdly disposable comeback album now courtesy of R&B supergroup of yester-decade Labelle, offering their first full-length album in over thirty years. Weird in that the lead single (the Wyclef Jean-produced Roll Out), complete with present-day electro signatures and auto-tuned vocals (which these powerhouse vocalists surely don’t need!), doesn’t sound absolutely anything like the rest of the album, which remains committed to old-school R&B torchers bigger on gosepl-tinged histrionics than anything sounding remotely like present day hip pop R&B (though they are still rather good). A dispiritingly curious effort, at times made even more infuriating by the fact that these girls can still caterwaul sassily with the best of them, particularly on the closing standard Miss Otis Regrets, which is brought to all kinds of fire and brimstoney life by the no-nonsense troika.

Jigsaw by Lady Sovereign
Like so many young musical upstarts before her, Miss Sovereign’s breakout success in 2005 (including a hit single across the Atlantic pond) was soon met with fallouts both professional and emotional, the diminutive star suffering double blows of depression and being dropped from former label Def Jam. It comes as no surprise then that sophomore LP Jigsaw finds her in a less than boisterous mood at times, none more so than the title track, featuring Lady singing after her departing lover with nary an comedic aside to be heard. Clearly inspired by the Kid Cudi/Kanye West trappings of electro-infused rap from last year, it remains a credible evolution for “the game’s biggest midget” though, and key tracks including the cocky I Got You Dancing and tongue-in-cheek chorus on Guitar prove that her mettle can still offer some amusing results.

My One And Only Thrill by Melody Gardot
Joining the unlikely likes of Def Leppard’s Rick Allen and Kanye West before her (without trying to sound blithe and reductionist about potentially fatal tragedies anyway!), Miss Gardot’s life, nevermind career, was almost cut short by a horrific car crash. Having learned to play piano before the accident, medical experts recommended that she use therapy involving musical composition and arrangements to help restore her cognitive abilities; this mix of an inspiring story and Gardot’s own rather fine skills as a singer and musician eventually saw her snapped up as jazz’s next big star, and this sophomore album has plenty of star turns on it to suggest longevity beyond the initial interest over car crash trivia. Some rather obvious choices aside (Over The Rainbow... Again... Anyone??), it’s as good an introduction to her sweet-yet-disturbed charms as can be.

Kicks by 1990s
Deploying enough buoyant riffs and freewheeling melodies to keep the radio stations contentedly buzzing over the summer months, this Scotch trio’s follow-up to their well-received debut Cookies boasts production wares from Bernard Butler, fresh from his success at the BRIT Awards this year for his work on one of the most overrated albums of the past decade. However, Duffy jibes aside, there’s no denying Butler’s consummate skill in guitar-pop production, evidenced here in particular on the lovely I Don’t Even Know What That Is and Local Science, the latter showcasing some lovely harmonies. Credit must also be shared with the band themselves though, who rather unlike Butler’s successful muse from last year, exhibit more of a modicum of personality and clearly don’t embarrass themselves on this light, inconsequential LP.

Love vs. Money by The-Dream
Now Terius Youngdell Nash appears to be little more than another multi-hyphenate menace of R&B pop, cashing in the same chips that brought international fame and recognition to the likes of Ne-Yo and Chris Brown. However, in spite of whether you actually like them or not, someone with writing and production credits on Umbrella and Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) surely solicits a more serious-minded response than most of his contemporaries, and this fine second album leaves no stone unturned. Alternating between soulful crooning and eloquent raps (best of which being opener Rockin' That Shit and Right Side Of The Brain), whilst also featuring appearances from the likes of Mariah Carey and Kanye West, Nash does his reputation justice, even if he hits the unintentionally funny “Eeyyy!” button on his mixing desk far too often.

Spandex, Rhymes & Soul by Amanda Diva
Reservations about Kanye West’s last album aside, there’s no doubting both the winning intelligence and solid integrity of Amanda Diva’s world view, reflected in an at times exemplary fashion on her debut album, having sparked interest from fans and industry bigwigs alike for her lyrical contributions to earlier jams from Floetry. Whilst this album doesn’t break down the doors to summon Amanda’s long-gestating arrival in the world of hip hop with its affectionate mix of old-school samples, arrangements and Diva’s poised, relaxed but never boring delivery (best on the forgiving Little Things and It Ain't Real), it is absolutely impossible to dislike an album that promotes as good a vibe as this one does, its exultant quality enhanced most likely by Barak Obama triumph at the Whitehouse, which Diva has rather winsomely covered on her blog.

Vs. Childen by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
Some glitch-folk now courtesy of multi-instrumentalist Owen Ashworth, whose love for analogue thankfully isn’t nearly as grating as his utilisation for cumbersomely long song titles. Admirably towing the line pretty evenly between 8 bit glitch and anti-folk strumming, Ashworth often comes up with something quite beguiling, such as Natural Light and the closer White Jetta. Unfortunately, his actual voice is more than a hindrance, sometimes robbing whatever charms the songs may possess through his dumbell-style mannerisms and stripping affability away from his alternative schtick as opposed to enhancing it. This being said, Ashworth’s arrangements more often than not bail him out, this fourth album providing all sorts of genre-blending surprises (among them the hip hop bustle of Harsh the Herald Angels Sing).

Wavvves by Wavves
Equal parts fuzzy surf rock and distorted electronica, musician Nathan Williams’ second album has seen his stock soar incredibly over the coming months, with Pitchfork.com keen to earmark Wavvves as one of the better releases over the early months of ‘09. Whilst it’s lo-fi charms can’t be denied given the right state of mind, and at least Williams imbues each song with a canny utilisation of pop hooks and harmonies for it not to be dismissed as distorted noise, there has been far more involving and impressive work composed elsewhere thus far. This doesn’t take away from soon-to-be-anthems such as Beach Goth and Weed Demon though, and Williams has still made an album good enough to justify significant attention from indie circles all over the world... Maybe I just can’t tell what all the fuss is about though!

My Maudlin Career by Camera Obscura
If it isn’t Eurobeat electro-pop that’s ten a penny all over the radio these days, then its easy listening retro-indie pop loveliness, another such act coining in on the latter being this less-than-merry quartet from Scotland. Although quite a few factors set them apart from the countless pretenders plucking their guitars these days; 1) they’ve been gigging for nearly thirteen years already, so have most likely weathered the tide through Britpop’s earlier rise and subsequent fall; 2) they’re songs are keen to mix sweetly tuneful arrangements with subject matter darker than most (per example, alongside songs like The Sweetest Thing and Honey in the Sun are the mournful Away With Murder and bittersweet love ballad James); and 3) the humdinger is they’re actually rather good, and long overdue for a big break.

Fist of God by MSTRKRFT
Ye of mild dispositions and fans of mild-mannered dance be very afraid, for MSTRKRFT’s second full-length album is never less than skull-poundingly ferocious, but more often than not remains rather marvellous to dance to. Whilst the Canadian duo can be credited exclusively for such an exemplary aural assault, more than faint mention must be made of their guest vocalists also, particularly on So Deep and Breakaway featuring Jahmal Donge from soon-to-be-big urban rock outfit The Carps. Like so many dance albums before it that remain committed to their at-times strenuous pillage, the formula can grate in the long run, even though the album is relatively rather short, clocking in at just under thirty-nine minutes. And whilst the lack of slow-jams means less breathing space between tracks, as concentrated blasts of electro-house go, it’s still pretty awesome.

Love & War by Daniel Merriweather
For at least one person on this very site anyway, it seems like forever since Merriweather first helped breathed soulful life into Mark Ronson’s mash-up of The Smiths and The Supremes, Stop Me, upon the release of which fans had been salivating at the prospect of his debut being just as sublimely wonderful. Well, three years later and the album finally drops just in time to be given more than a few spins for the summer and let’s just say that if the weather holds up with all kinds of sunshine, Merriweather will be getting more airplay than most. Though the Ronson-sponsored blue-eyed soul motifs may have given way for more of a Eurobeat influence with popular music this year and some of the songs here teeter on the less-than-memorable, there’s no denying the appeal of the soulful timbre of Merriweather’s vocals, one highlight being must-be-next-single Impossible.

I Feel Cream by Peaches
Well, it happened; Merrill Beth Nisker’s onstage alter-ego appears to have finally mellowed out somewhat and sacrificed some of that potent sexual terrorism for something a little more sedate and, dare I say it, classy(!) Fans of Peaches at her ridiculously feisty best needn’t be too disappointed though, as she’s still the filthiest woman in pop by one heck of a margin, her twistedly carnal creativity finding all sorts of disconcertingly danceworthy avenues (Mommy Complex in particular is as gloriously weird as the title suggests). It’s a sleeker, slicker affair than Peaches’ previous efforts, benefiting from the likes of dance supremos Simian Mobile Disco and Digitalism at the production helm; but, taking in the dark content found in her ever-confronting lyrics, perhaps it could be Nisker’s most sublimely inappropriate moment yet, making all this frank talk palatable?! Time will tell...

You Can Have What You Want by Papercuts
Some more lo-fi indie pop on the cards now thanks to this alternative music collective spearheaded by musician Jason Robert Quever, specialising in timelessly psychedelic melancholy with all kinds of lovely orchestrations and arrangements. It can be quite difficult to make head or tailend of most outfits wallowing in this particular sub-genre these days when one of them releases a CD (those freely associated with Quever include the likes of Vetiver and Beach House, both of whom sound remarkably similar); however, Quever demonstrates some really rather lovely work here, particularly during the album’s mid-section, which positively floats through the air with a measured grace, key examples being Jet Plane and Dead Love. It does peter away into nothingness a little too often thanks to its slight gravity, sure, but it is never less than lovely...

Wild Young Hearts by Noisettes
The latest UK cult act to breakthrough to mainstream success via the last bastion of selling out according to the music press (that’d be using the poppiest single on the album for a TV advert), indie-rock trio Noisettes’ sophomore effort after their well-received/little-heard debut does well not to embellish the pop mini-marvel of said single Don’t Upset the Rhythm (Go Baby Go), but rather straddles the line comfortably between indie, pop and soul. Frontwoman Shingai Shoniwa comes across as a far cooler older sister to Gabriella Cilmi, with a voice both youthfully fresh and rustically soulful when it wants to be, and most of the tunes found on the CD better the single in terms of being elegantly funky slices of indie pop (I’m earmarking Beat Of My Heart as the album highlight personally); and it’s just as well, seeing as Rhythm always seems to remind me of this...

Dark Was The Night by Various Artists
Though War Child received duly deserved press for their rather good charity album earlier in the year (featuring the more glamorous likes of Duffy and Scissor Sisters alongside more reputable likes of TV on the Radio, Hot Chip and Elbow), another charity record to be released was this fine double disc collection, created in aid of donating funds for the Red Hot Organisation and their promotion of AIDS/HIV awareness. Like the War Child record, not only is the roster of artists quite the star-laden affair (star turns abound from Antony of the Johnsons with Bryce Dessner, as well as The Decemberists and Yo La Tengo) but there is an abundance of hard work amongst the pieces here, all artists getting behind their assignments to deliver something worth listening to rather than cheaply phoning their work in. And in passing, Dave Sitek is officially the sexiest man alive...(!!!)

Dark Days/Light Years by Super Furry Animals
It’s fair to say that it’s because of both Super Furry Animals’ appeal and their bountiful musical invention that they’ve managed to stay afloat in the English indie scene for nearly twenty years since their humble beginnings in Cardiff. No doubt bolstered by member Gruff Rhys’ unexpectedly successful jaunt as founding member of urban dance collective Neon Neon last year, the Animals have returned to their experimental/space rock roots with a vengeance for their ninth studio album, chock full of psychedlic breaks, leftfield moments and some of the most gorgeous harmonies to come out of a rock band in a while (Rhys’ lead moments in particular are nothing short of lovely). Even the excessively long tracks Cardiff In The Sun and opener Crazy Naked Girls are held together with such vibrance that you’ll be hard pressed to keep this off of your speakers this summer.

Great Lengths by Martyn
Dubstep having been given a significant leg-up after the success of Burial’s rather magnificent Untrue album, Dutch DJ and musician Martyn arrives in early ‘09 as another forbearer of the genre’s subversive delights, all low-key bass signatures, minimalist beats and urban atmospheric effects, perfectly summised by Martyn himself as “music for a warm but rainy day”. However, comparing Martyn’s tracks to Will Bevan’s would be pointless, considering that not only is Martyn’s music of a more poignantly optimistic nature (anyone from London will listen to Bevan’s Untrue and immediately feel right at home with its heavily distorted claustrophobia), and also embraces a more diverse and unique array of styles, taking in soulful cues such as These Words and its elegant following piano solo alongside more layered club jams such as Elden St. and Is This Insanity?

Listening Tree by Tim Exile
For anyone who thought the idea of the thinking man’s pop star was becoming less and less likely by the day, along comes Tim Exile, fresh from being signed up by Warp Records, which should give you an inkling as to where his musical provocations may lie. In truth, Exile clearly revels in the kind of distorted IDM jams that have made his newfound labelmates such as Aphex Twin and Squarepusher so famous, evidenced by his propensity to chop the crap out of most of his tracks (particularly on the love/hate one-two of Carousel and When Every Day's A Number). However, most of the work found on this third LP of his actually exhibits a humorously intelligent pop sensibility, especially on his reliance of his comically robotic baritone (found most prolifically on opener Don’t Think We're One) and elusively barmy lyrics (lead off single Pay Tomorrow).

Thunderheist by Thunderheist
For all of its file-sharing, copyright-infringing, filth-presenting madness, the Internet is officially a really wonderful thing, just ask this Canadian electro-hip hop duo, who had already dusted up tracks for what would turn out to be their debut album before even meeting each other via the World Wide Web. Compromising of producer Grahm Zilla and MC Isis, they enjoyed their first mainstream exposure (of all places) in Oscar-nominated movie The Wrestler, and have rode a crest of noted interest ever since leading up to the release of their premier disc, chock full of Diplo-style cuts brought to the next level of danceability with some inspired performances from Isis. Taking in hip pop criticism (Bubblegum and nothing 2 step 2) and borderline creepy horniness (Jerk It and Cruise Low), there’s no reason why this duo can’t break it big this year.

See the Light by The Hours
"They understand what music is for – it's for human beings to communicate with other human beings. It's that simple, it's that important. Let them into your life. You won't regret it"... So says Britpop icon Jarvis Cocker about The Hours, a sort of supergroup when you take into account the amount of people founding members Antony Genn and Martin Slattery have worked closely with before banding together in 2004 (but a handful include Joe Strummer, Shaun Ryder and UNKLE). And whilst the sheer hyperbolic nature of such a statement cannot survive any album unless it was earth-movingly special, which their sophomore effort ultimately isn’t, See The Light still brims with enough songwriting dexterity, intelligence and downright gorgeousness to move the hardest of hearts (especially on break-up ballad Car Crash and its moving crescendo).

Swoon by Silversun Pickups
Crashing in a full seventy-three places upwards of their debut release three years previous on the Top 200 Billboard Album Chart in America, indie rock shoegazers Silversun Pickups appear to have struck gold on their sophomore effort, and for once it is richly deserved. At once gritty, dreamy, melodic and confrontational, this is what The Emo With Taste would wrap their ears around, and transporting anyone too old to really be emo exactly back to what it was like to be a tormented teenager as opposed to a tormented adult wishing they were still a tormented teenager. And this fond remembrance wouldn’t have been summoned if it weren’t for the evident chemistry of the band members themselves, who were culled together from mutual friends over mutual love of music to create anthems as stunning as Growing Old Is Getting Old or The Royal We.

Yes! by k-os
It would appear that I prefer my rappers Canadian and with more than a semblance of world knowledge under their baseball caps, with Kevin Brereton being the third such wordsmith to take my fancy after Cadence Weapon last year and K’Naan from last month. Credited as an alternative hip hop artist as opposed to a more commercially viable one (though future single I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman samples Phantom Planet’s California so indelibly it will prove impossible for mainstream radio to resist, surely!), Brereton’s world is one more contemplative and uncertain than those of his peers who appear more adept peddling thug-boy fantasies and misogynist raps about bitches, and is doubtless more rich and enthralling for it. Standouts here include lead single 4, 3, 2, 1 and the warm tribute to his mother, Uptown Girl.

Tale to Tell by The Mummers
Don’t let the album art featuring lead singer Raissa decked in couture circus garb whilst poised on a trapeze fool you; despite being a perfect visual representation of the pastoral, playful delights to be found on The Mummers’ debut album, their music isn’t one to be freely associated with Britney Spears, P!nk or any other vacuous pop princess. Having spent the past decade-and-a-half trying to break through into the pop music scene (during which she has supported for Suede and Kylie Minogue amongst others), Raissa along with her newfound friends may finally be able to strike it big with this rather lovely foray into baroque-lite pop, managing to convey wistful fancy (Lorca and the Orange Tree) and detached worldliness (Tale To Tell); a highly promising start for the trio then, not to mention a fine showcase for Raissa’s heavenly voice.

Sounds of the Universe by Depeche Mode
Though certainly not a creative misstep by any other pop musician/band’s standards, breaths were baited far too intensely when Pet Shop Boys dropped their tenth studio album on a baying public already high on revisited electro flourishes by today’s more supple dignitaries, at least one of which having had a helping hand from the boys themselves. Meanwhile, Depeche Mode’s twelfth album arrives with not nearly as much hype surrounding it, but certainly more convincingly pits the troika against their younger counterparts, highlighting that they haven’t truly dulled with age just yet. The one grind against this album that can be said is that it is typical Depeche; miserable, angular, sublime and such a lovely downer that it makes arriving back to hell from a glowing paradise seem almost like a glorious homecoming.

Why There are Mountains by Cymbals Eat Guitars
Clearly not a band to mince their words nor miss out on a wonderful opportunity, Cymbals Eat Guitars arrived fully-formed earlier this year as the official Next Big Thing with regards to the indie rock scene, bolstered not only by a featured review on source-of-much-consternation Pitchfork.com but by a frequently stellar debut that ticks all of the required boxes. One band that they incidentally mirror also released their debut early this year, them being Grammatics, who happen to compose songs that explore different depths of feeling within the same piece and not just being content with your typical slow burn release of other bands. Their UK counterparts though inhabit a more refined and artier soundscape then these rough-and-ready rabblers, which happens to make their effort that much more powerful (particularly on Cold Spring and Share).

Kingdom Of Rust by Doves
It would be easy to assume listening to their fourth album that these Cheshire-based indie stars drew upon various works from their peers last year to make this their at once most varied and most accessible album yet (Elbow, Bloc Party and TV On The Radio can certainly claim to be heard throughout). However, the opening power surge of Jetstream pretty much clues the listener in that Doves clearly aren’t half-arsing on their work here, and that any comparison between this and the fabulous work from last year by the aforementioned outfits is justified solely on sheer beauty and merit, first and foremost. As well as humdinger Jetstream, The Outsiders forbodingly pulses along with electronically-fused vigour, quite the opposite to the epic title track, which so far easily attains contention as one of the most moving songs to be released this year so far.

Complete Me by Frankmusik
Already gaining heat from an impressive placing on the BBC’s Sound Of 2009 poll, Vincent Frank adds further fuel to the fire surrounding his hype with a really quite fabulous power-pop record that, unlike many of his presently more popular contemporaries, is blessed with both an unlikely emotional investment in the music as well as a resourceful intelligence (he even samples The StranglersGolden Brown on When You're Around and manages to not make it sound overly redundant!) After the disappointing debut releases from Sam Sparro and Mika (who initially showed sterling promise only to follow through with middling-at-best LPs), the pop world may have finally found a quirky male pop star to get truly excited about; it surely says something that when even the falsetto-blighted ballad olivia arrives journey’s end, you’re still never less-than-impressed, eh?

Primary Colours by The Horrors
Yet another band to make an abrupt left-turn with regards to their sound, The Horrors have forgone the upfront and gritty garage rock of their debut LP for something altogether more spellbinding and epic, this time using their customarily spiky riffs and disenchanted vocals to bind together epic synthscapes and ominous walls of noise. Much more confrontational and euphoric than White Lies’ debut from earlier this year, it’s already riding a huge wave of hype amongst UK publications for very good reason... Quite simply put, it’s one of the best rock-pop albums to arrive in a helluva long while, taking in all kinds of influences from The Smiths to Depeche Mode to Joy Division. For standout tracks, look no further than Scarlet Fields and the upcoming anthem for the disillusioned, Who Can Say.

Entertainment by Fischerspooner
However, just pipping Vincent Frank and The Horrors to the top spot is the fourth album from electroclash godfathers Fischerspooner, who like Peaches before them on my chart, have gone for a strictly more popular aesthetic as opposed to their filthier offerings from nearly ten years ago. Not letting the fact that their musical influences are still making really very good albums of their own in this present day affect them (Pet Shop Boys last month, Depeche Mode this month!), Messrs Fischer and Spooner have fine-tuned their music into the now-popular electro-pop movement just enough to sound radio friendly for a new listenership, but still retain some awesome electro-squelches and darker-than-most lyrics (particularly on In A Modern World) to keep their dance-head followers pleased (hear standout track Infidels Of The World Unite for their finest example).

And that is why Entertainment is my Album Of The Month For April!

Gawd bless all those who made it this far... will try to keep my journals from rambling next time; but what with an impromptu trip to San Francisco on the cards, I may get a little too excited, having been delegated music-playing duties for the trip! YAY!!

Keep listening and all the best! XXX


  • Orange_Anubis

    You know, when you shouted me that Red was perfect for the current climate, I honestly thought you meant the economic one. I see now how foolish I was. 8-&

    Abr 30 2009, 13h32
  • CvaldaVessalis

    Sorry, B, I'm not that bloody clever... :^(

    Abr 30 2009, 13h47
  • Orange_Anubis

    Oh that's OK, I wasn't sure exactly how that would express itself exactly anyway, so I was keeping quiet about it for lack of anything to say!!

    Abr 30 2009, 14h23
  • CvaldaVessalis

    The for the current economic climate, I'd offer Money Can't Dance up for consideration... Any '09 track in particular you'd put forward?

    Abr 30 2009, 15h03
  • Orange_Anubis

    Spoilt for choice really - how about a mini playlist of Love vs. Money, The Privateers, Money Changer, Pennies, Blow The Bank (Feat. Oshy), Love vs. Money: Part 2.

    Abr 30 2009, 16h15
  • retro_trash

    how can i ever forgive u of accusing britney and p!nk of being vacuous :'( lol although i must say i have a soft spot for both, why is it i just cannot listen to wavves? ive tried to but i just turn off to them, great great journal you have here, best summary of monthly music ive come across

    Mai 24 2009, 0h17
  • CvaldaVessalis

    Aww, thanks retro! And I understand I should have put Katy Perry in there instead of P!nk but, hey... ;^)

    Mai 25 2009, 17h20
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